Spot-Fixing: Will BCCI terminate Rajasthan Royals from IPL?

Zee Media Bureau

Kolkata: Businessman Raj Kundra`s reported confession of his involvement in betting in the IPL matches has increased pressure on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take action against his team Rajasthan Royals.

Reports on Friday claimed that the BCCI, which has convened an emergency working committee meeting of the Board on June 10 to discuss the issue of Raj Kundra`s alleged involvement in betting, may also terminate Rajasthan Royals from IPL.

Speaking to the reporters, BCCI interim head Jagmohan Dalmiya had said on Thursday that the BCCI would look into the alleged conflict of interest issue concerning Indian captain M S Dhoni`s stakes in a sports management firm after the ongoing Champions Trophy tournament and promised there would be no cover-up.

Reiterating that no board member should be part of the commission formed to probe the allegations of betting in the IPL against BCCI chief N Srinivasan`s son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings chief executive officer Gurunath Meiyappan, Dalmiya said it would now be a two-member body, comprising retired judges appointed earlier. He also refused to announce a time-frame for the panel to submit its report.

The commission originally had three members. However, Jagdale quit last week.

The emergency working committee meeting on the Kundra issue would be held in Delhi.

"After we have all the details, look into all the details... and if it demands any strict action, we will look into it," Dalmiya said.

Delhi Police officials grilled Kundra for 10 hours Wednesday, and later claimed he had admitted to betting in the IPL. Kundra claimed he was just helping Delhi Police Crime Branch in the IPL spot fixing investigations.

Though Delhi Police claimed Kundra`s film star wife Shilpa Shetty, a part owner of the Jaipur-based team, had also bet on at least one match, Dalmiya said he had no such knowledge.

When a journalist quoted Clause 11.3 (C) of the BCCI-IPL franchise agreement that calls for annulling the agreement with a franchisee if its owner brought the board or IPL to disrepute, Dalmiya said: "How do you come to a decision unless you look into it?"

Dalmiya said retired high court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramaniam appointed earlier would constitute the probe commission.

"After Jagdale resigned, it has become a two-member commission. I have decided that let it be a two-member commission. We would not like it to curtail it by saying the time limit starts now, and finishes now".

Assuring that the probe would not be an eye-wash, he said: "We want cricket to be cleaned, run properly."

Asked whether Rajasthan Royals would come under the ambit of the probe, Dalmiya said: "That is what we have to wait (for). Let`s see how the panel proceeds and what outcome it comes out with."

Dalmiya said the BCCI has sought information from the Mumbai and Delhi Police regarding an interim report submitted by board`s Anti-Corruption and Security unit chief Ravi Sawani on the spot fixing scandal, but neither of them has responded so far.

On the conflict of interest issue concerning Dhoni, he said: "At this juncture, when we are in the midst of Champions Trophy, nothing we are going to earn by disturbing him. But at the same time, we are not going to cover it up. Please wait and see."

Dhoni courted a controversy recently following reports that he held a 15 percent stake in Rhiti Sports, which also manages Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeha and Pragyan Ojha, besides the Indian skipper.

Dalmiya said a new BCCI treasurer would be named "in a day or two".

The posts had fallen vacant after Jagdale and then treasurer Ajay Shirke quit to protest Srinivasan`s refusal to step down after his son-in-law`s arrest.

(With IANS Inputs)